Victim's Family and Jurors Urge Clemency for Texas Death Row Inmate

On February 7, attorneys for Tim Adams (pictured) filed a petition for clemency urging the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend sparing Adams' life and to ask Governor Rick Perry to commute his death sentence to life in prison without parole. Adams, an army veteran with no criminal history, killed his son while planning his own suicide in 2002. He pleaded guilty and has taken responsibility for his actions.  Family members and three jurors from Adams' trial have also voiced strong support for his clemency. Columbus Adams, Adams' father and grandfather of the victim, said, "Our family lost one child. We don’t deserve to lose another. After my grandson’s death, we lived through pain worse than anyone could imagine. Nothing good will come from executing my son Tim and causing us more anguish." Additionally, Rebecca Hayes, Ngoc Duong, and Kathryn Starling, who served as jurors in Adams' trial, have said they were not presented with information about the defendant's character and religious background that would have influenced their sentencing decision. In an affidavit, Hayes said, "Those deliberations were the most emotional experience of my life, and I have carried the guilt around for years knowing that I sentenced Adams, a man who had done wrong but who was otherwise a good, religious, and hard-working person to death."

Juror Doung added, "Since the trial, I have learned new information that would have made me fight for Adams’s life…It would have been nice to hear from Adams’s family members and friends, because it would have shown many of the jurors that he was not a monster, that he was a good human being, who had done something horribly wrong but completely out of character…I do not believe that Timothy Adams deserves to die for his crime.”   Adams currently has an execution date of February 22, 2011.

(Press Release from Tim Adams' Attorneys, Texas Defender Service, February 7, 2011).  Read the full text of Adams' clemency petition.  See Clemency.